Bridging Sales Experience Gap – Part II
In part one of ‘Bridging Sales Experience Gap’ we discussed Approach Strategy framework which describes four distinct styles of selling, dictated by complexity and value. Since beginning to use frameworks to explain how experienced sales people make decisions about sales situations, we have developed to a total of nineteen framework diagrams. You can view list at www.salessense.co.uk/adaptive_frameworks.htm.
The ‘Meeting Tactics’ framework
When you are face to face with a prospective customer, if you always use same style or method of communication, you are unlikely to be successful every time. Adapting for person, their circumstances, and their attitude towards you is an essential part of achieving consistent success.
In part one of this series, we began with this question sent in by an overseas subscriber - “How do you teach young sales reps how to READ client, how to understand their personality and only provide information when client is OPEN to receiving it?” A framework that depicts sales challenge and illustrates options, offers an answer.
Searching out and articulating customer benefits is a natural thing to do in selling. If you can pile enough value on your side of equation, a favourable decision becomes inevitable, or so it would seem. Unfortunately this approach doesn’t always work. Rationality is in eye of beholder.
If you really want something, you will be eager for any information that helps you justify acquisition of what you want. If you would like to own a Mercedes and feel you can’t afford one, you will lap up any scrap of an idea that suggests you can realise your dream.
On other hand, or on another day, you may be feeling differently. Perhaps you have just had to settle a flurry of bills, or have just sat through a budget cutting meeting. Your mind will be focussed on other priorities or worse, on reducing spending. Any number of circumstances can enhance sceptic in you. When this is case, you may deny validity of evidence and use your creativity to block any pressure to act or spend.
SalesSense Meeting Tactics Framework Diagram
The diagram illustrates importance of assessing a buyer’s attitude, before deciding how to manage meeting. Knowledge of buyer’s circumstances helps experienced sales people anticipate level of welcome or scepticism they will face when meeting buyer. Ability to assess rapport and read non verbal signals enables sales people to check their standing with a buyer.
Forward selling a highly sceptical buyer
This is unlikely to be effective. Sceptics will be suspicious of your questions and guarded in their response. They will assume that you are exaggerating, miss representing, or even lying about product or solution you are proposing. As a result you will provoke a debate about validity of information you discuss or present. Using traditional sales principles, you will be speaking about advantages and benefits using most positive terms you feel justifiable. This just makes situation worse. The buyer uses his or her intelligence and creativity to prove that you are wrong. People who adopt an opposing position are rarely won over by a debate or argument – which is what engagement often becomes when traditional sales techniques are dashed on a barricade of scepticism.